Majors fair to help guide students

Photo illustration by Matt Hellman and Alexa Brackin | Lariat Multimedia Producer and News Editor

Photo illustration by Matt Hellman and Alexa Brackin | Lariat Multimedia Producer and News Editor
Photo illustration by Matt Hellman and Alexa Brackin | Lariat Multimedia Producer and News Editor
By Michael Davidson

Deciding what career path to take, figuring out how to get a job and how to survive without mom and dad’s money are just some of the many issues people may struggle with at some point in their life. These thoughts may appear most frequently when students are in college.

Baylor students experiencing these conundrums may be able to receive some guidance on the matter. The University-Wide Majors Fair will take place from 2:30 to 4 p.m. today in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center. The Office of Career and Professional Development will host the event.

“This is the second year we’ve done this, and it’s universitywide so it includes every department on campus,” said Pat Weaver, director of career exploration at Baylor. “Last year we had over 400 students and 100 faculty members. It was a great turnout for the first year but, of course, we’re looking to increase that number.”

One purpose of the fair is to give students the opportunity to speak with professors and other Baylor employees from a variety of departments, all with the goal of helping those students pick a major or a minor, or perhaps even a secondary major or minor.

“When we have everybody in one place it’s much easier for the students to meet with faculty members,” Weaver said. “Once they are in the room and they get a map of all the departments there that day, they may see a major or a minor that they didn’t even know Baylor offered that is particularly interesting to them.”

Many students, especially freshmen, can be overloaded with information after attending events like orientation or Baylor Premiere. After being on campus for over a month and becoming acclimated to the whole process, students may now use the Majors Fair as an opportunity to revisit that same information in a more comfortable environment, Weaver said.

An event of this nature also gives students a chance to speak face to face with professors in an informal setting, something Weaver described as less intimidating compared to the typical procedure of setting up a formal meeting with advisers.

The fair could potentially help those who are undecided.

“This isn’t just for underclassmen,” Weaver said. “Help and advice will also be offered to those students who may have already picked a major and starting taking the courses, but, for whatever reason, have realized they want to switch.”

Representatives from the Department of University Advisement, as well as advisers from the College of Arts and Sciences, will also be at the fair. The advisers are able to assist students who are considering switching majors but want to know how such a change would affect their current college plan and the hours they have already completed.

Representatives from Hire A Bear, a creation of the Department of Career and Professional Development, will also be in attendance to aid students who want information or assistance regarding internships, resumes or the job market for a particular major.

“Hire A Bear is essentially an online database that contains job postings, internship information, part-time job information and employer information,” said Kat Evans, a career adviser at Baylor. “It also contains information from all Baylor Career events, including workshops, employer presentations and career fairs, as well as scheduling information regarding many different companies’ on campus interviews that occur throughout the fall and spring semesters each year.”

All Baylor students have a Hire A Bear account, and simply have to log onto their website and activate the account to access all the information and tools the interface has to offer, including a new feature implemented this year that helps students create resumes.

In addition, a student’s access to Hire A Bear does not necessarily end after their time at Baylor. Alumni also have access to the database after graduation for no charge, and while many of the potential employers on the website are simply normal companies looking for people to hire, many Baylor alumni also use the system as employers looking for fellow Baylor graduates to hire.

“Above anything else, this is for the students,” Weaver said. “You never know what could happen. Sometimes things are kind of hidden, and a student may never know about them until they attend an event like this.”